SAN DIEGO — Finally, after years of false starts, the one and only Daniel Radcliffe came to Hall H at Comic-Con. He wasn't here for "Harry Potter" or the upcoming "Frankenstein" from 20th Century Fox. No, Radcliffe came down for his acclaimed fantasy horror drama "Horns," which debuted last September at the Toronto Film Festival, but is opening in theaters from Radius-TWC in October.
Directed by Alexandre Aja, "Horns" is the adaptation of Joe Hill's novel, which finds a young man, Ig (Radcliffe), trying to figure out who killed his girlfriend (Juno Temple) while his small town believes he's the guilty party. Something sparks a change in Ig, who begins to grow horns that get longer and longer. As the horns grow, people around him begin to tell him their darkest secrets. The film looks dark and funny, but here are a couple of things we discovered about Radcliffe during his inaugural Comic-Con appearance.
HE'S 25. SERIOUSLY. DANIEL RADCLIFFE IS 25.
Since Radcliffe's birthday was just two days ago, the audience sang "Happy Birthday" to the 25-year-old. You probably thought he was still 20 or 21 didn't you? Little Harry Potter is only five years from 30, people!
HAVING THE HORNS ON WAS ACTUALLY A POWER TRIP
As the film goes on, Ig's appearance becomes more and more devilish. The longer his horns became, the stranger Radcliffe's off-screen conversations became. He recalled, "There is something incredibly empowering with a set of horns on or just looking like the devil. You start to have normal conversations with people and you see their eyes just drift up and fixate on them."
DANIEL RADCLIFFE PROBABLY STILL DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE
He may or may not have one now, but Radcliffe didn't have a driver's license when he shot "Horns." Unfortunately, his character still had to drive a vintage AMC Gremlin throughout the production. That made one wide shot where Radcliffe needs to drive into a shot and exit the car with a snake around his neck quite difficult. The crew put someone in the back of the car to put the snake around his neck before he got out. Before the shot, Radcliffe told the prop guy, "Just so you know, Cory, I can't drive. I don't have a license." And he goes, "It's OK, I've never handled a snake before!"
NOT YOUR TYPICAL PLAYLIST
Radcliffe says he uses musical playlists to get into character and he definitely needed one for Ig in "Horns." This one had Metallica, Megadeth, Radiohead and Perfume Genius. Plus, Radcliffe added, "The Shivers." "The first time I've ever gotten a song in a movie by the way," he said.
THE PRESS MOTIVATED HIM TO CONTINUE HIS CAREER
Radcliffe says that by the end of the "Harry Potter" films he was constantly asked, "Do you think your best years are behind you?" by reporters.
"At 20! So, that does get in your head a little bit," Radcliffe says incredulously. "I was always determined that the time I did Eq between 5 and 6 I would have a career after 'Potter.'"
YOU CAN TELL HIM HOW MUCH 'HARRY POTTER' MEANT TO YOU
After a fan told him how much the films meant to her and her childhood, Radcliffe replied, "You are very welcome. I had a great time, too. The thing I always say is that I never tire of hearing that. [It's] an amazing thing, to touch so many lives [with] films I'm still really, really proud of. It's a pleasure to hear."
BRUCE WILLIS CONTINUES TO INSPIRE TODAY
From Radcliffe, "There was one line in this film that I was really looking forward to saying and I can't talk about this without giving it away. Something terrible happens to me and I should be dead and I got to come out of the water and say, 'God, I'm really hard to kill' with an F-word. Alex normally gives very in-depth notes, but on this he said, 'This, you are Bruce Willis!' I took small pleasure out of that scene."
STILL PICKS MOVIES OVER THEATER
Asked whether he prefers his new-found success on the stage or returning to the world of cinema, Radcliffe remarked, "Film is where I grew up. I was on a film set since the age of nine so there is no greater place of comfort and happiness. I feel so at home there. Theater is somewhere I learn and I get better and I would recommend it to every actor, because it's a different set of disciplines and challenges. Gun to my head, I would say film."
"Horns" opens in limited release on Oct. 31.